takeout containers

How to Properly Dispose of Those Black Plastic Takeout Containers

If you've ordered takeout recently, you've probably seen them - those black plastic containers are often handed to customers with their to-go food in them.

But once you're done with them, make sure you're not throwing them in the recycle bin. State environmentalists say they actually belong in the trash.

"Black plastic is a form of contamination in the Connecticut recycling program. And the reason being is that black plastic is not picked up by optical scanners at the materials recovery facilities, often referred to as a MRF, that sort and process our materials. And if they can't identify what is black plastic, it ends up getting in bales of paper, or bands, bales of aluminum or other materials and will contaminate those loads," said Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection State Environmental Analyst Sherill Baldwin.

Baldwin said black plastic was removed last year from the state's list of acceptable items to put in your home's recycling bin.

"I think it's really due to the pandemic. Because we've been doing so much takeout, I think there's more black plastic than what facilities can handle, and it's causing high levels of contamination," Baldwin said.

Black plastic does have those triangular arrows, but you still should not place them in your recycling bin.

When it comes to what you should recycle, there's resources available here. From there, you can find what you can and can't recycle.

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